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Update from Redding:

I only wish Kaiya’s passing was the extent of our loss last week. We had taken in two Pei from a shelter in San Francisco on the Weds. before Christmas. One was a 10-12 week old puppy and the other a two year old male who was going to be put down if we didn’t take him. The little puppy, Wendy, had two cherry eyes that needed to be repaired, and she needed to be spayed. She had her surgery on Tues. and came home on Weds. She seemed a little lethargic, and she wouldn’t eat. We noticed that her breathing seemed irregular so we took her back to the vet. They immediately put her on oxygen in an incubator where she spent the next three days fighting for her life before she lost her battle. She died on New Year’s Day. Our vet thinks it was possible canine influenza that she had before she came to us, but the results of the tests are not back yet. She was showing no symptoms. She was a very sweet puppy, and although we didn’t know her very long, she is missed, and she was loved.

The male, Mitchell, was neutered on Tues. He came home and was doing fine until Thurs. when he would not eat and was vomiting. We took him back to the vet on New Year’s where he has been ever since. He has been getting fluids through an IV, and he still would not eat. Through all this he has been a very sweet boy for everyone who needs to handle him. They did xrays and could not determine what was wrong. Last night they did emergency surgery to find that his intestine had twisted. They removed a five inch section and today he is up and about-now he just has to start eating again.

Another one of our own dogs, Cassie, had a growth removed from her shoulder. It was a type of cancer, but our vet thinks he got it all, and if it comes back it will be in the same place. We would have to have it removed again, but she will be ok. Some of you might remember that Cassie was paralyzed about five years ago. We rushed her to UC Davis where it was determined she had blown a disk. Even her surgeons there did not know if she would ever walk again, but she truly is a miracle dog and defeated the odds. Now at 13 she is still a fighter and recovering well from her most recent surgery. When we moved back to CA from Pa 11 years ago, we brought eight dogs with us. She is the only one we are lucky enough to still have, and we are grateful every day that she is still with us.

And last but certainly not least is Magoo. For those of you who have visited the rescue in Redding, you most certainly met Magoo. Like Kaiya was to me, Magoo is to Rich. Magoo went for his fourth round of chemo last week, and is doing very well. Please keep him in your thoughts that he continues to respond to the treatment.

So that was the ending to our 2009 and the beginning of 2010. We are hoping as the year progresses that things will get better. We want to thank all of you who helped with donations at the holidays. Because of you we are able to do whatever needs to be done for the dogs who come into our program. No dog has ever been turned away for health concerns that are treatable.

Just a little more about Kaiya. She was my heart and soul and I miss her so much. It’s hard to think about another dog right now, but I know that another will come along when the time is right and will touch my heart like she did. And I will love the next one equally and with all my heart again because that dog will deserve no less and will love me unconditionally. I believe that it is our job to give our dogs the best life we can while they are with us because no matter how long they live, it will never be long enough for us.

The following piece has helped me to get though the loss of Kaiya, and I hope it will help some of you as well who have faced a similar loss and are thinking of possibly getting another dog.

''Best Dog in the World By T'Mara Goodsell

One's first love is always perfect until one meets one's second love. ~Elizabeth Aston

Years ago, I owned the very best dog in the world.

I was a child when we got her. She was a graceful brown hound, a foundling who taught me that our pets are not purchased, but ordained.

She romped when I did and knew how to smile in that funny way that only some dogs have. She grew up with me, always there when I needed her. My grown hand still remembers the sleek bump on the top of her head and that gentle divot just past her nose that fit my index finger just perfectly.

She passed away during one of my college vacations. My heart broke then, and I knew that there would never be another dog like her, and there hasn't been. I was sure that I could never love another dog as much as I'd loved her.

Fortunately, I was wrong about that part.

My next dog came into my life when I was married. My husband traveled for a living, and I was often lonely. This dog grew into a lumbering Wolfhound and Sheepdog mix who taught me patience. He was a large, grizzled sentry, that dog. He rarely left my side until the children were born, and then he became their guardian, too. I can still feel that swirl of fur along his back and the weight of his chin when it rested in my lap.

When he passed away, my heart broke. As much as I had loved that childhood dog, I had been wrong. This was the very best dog in the world. There would never be another dog like him, and there hasn't been. I was sure I would never love another dog as much as I'd loved him.

I was wrong again.

We got the next one, a loping black Lab-and-Terrier mix, when the children were little. He taught me the importance of adapting. He was everyone's dog from the beginning, and that was just as it should be. When he played tug of war with the children, he dragged them across the kitchen floor as they shrieked with laughter. He always seemed to sleep in the room of the child who needed his company the most.

These days his face is expressively gray, and he spends more time with me since the almost-grown children aren't around so much. The other day my oldest, home from college, played tug of war. We all laughed--just a little--as the dog was gently pulled across the kitchen floor.

He is, of course, the very best dog in the world. I will never forget that exquisitely soft tuft of fur behind his ears or the tickly feel when he nuzzles. There won't be another dog like him.

And that's okay, because we will never be at this point in our lives again.

Sometimes I've wondered why two species that get along so well should have such different life spans. It just doesn't seem right. And then I wonder if that's part of the lesson: To teach us that love itself has a spirit that returns again and again and never really dies.

It's amazing, in a way, how they bring to our ever-changing lives exactly what it is that we need at the moment. They make room for one another, this family of dogs who has never even met. And they fit--into our families, into our lives, into our memories, and into our hearts--because they always have been and always will be the best dogs in the world.

To the world you are a rescue person
To a rescued dog you are the world ''

Good Night Kaiya, We Love You And Miss You

It’s in loving memory of our girl, Kaiya that we are posting this poem. We lost her very unexpectedly today after 4 ½ wonderful years so please bear with us while we go through a grieving period for one of our own “kids”. We loved her very much, and our hearts are heavy here in Redding…….. Anna

A Parting Prayer

Dear Lord,

Please open your gates
and call St. Francis
to come escort this beloved companion
across the Rainbow Bridge.

Assign her to a place of honor,
for she has been a faithful servant
and has always done her best to please me.

Bless the hands that send her to you,
for they are doing so in love and compassion,
freeing her from pain and suffering.

Grant me the strength not to dwell on my loss.
Help me remember the details of her life
with the love she has shown me.
And grant me the courage to honor her
by sharing those memories with others.

Let her remember me as well
and let her know that I will always love her.
And when it's my time to pass over into your paradise,
please allow her to accompany those
who will bring me home.

Thank you, Lord,
for the gift of her companionship
and for the time we've had together.

And thank you, Lord,
for granting me the strength
to give her to you now.


- © Brandy Duckworth, 1998

December Update

Happy Holidays for all of us here in Redding. We hope during this holiday season that you are surrounded by family and friends-both two and four legged-and all the things that mean the most to you.

This has been an especially difficult year for this rescue. With the economy such as it is and the high unemployment and foreclosure rates, there are more dogs than ever before who need our help. For the very same reasons there are fewer adoptions than ever before. It is very depressing to have to say “no” almost every day to taking in another dog who needs a place to go or needs to get out of a shelter. We know what will happen to most of the dogs who we have to turn down, but there is no more room here until we are able to place some of the dogs we have.

This year we have also had more dogs returned than ever before. Please, before you adopt make sure you are willing to make the commitment it will take to keep this dog for the rest of its life. We know there are legitimate reasons for having to give up a pet, and we will always take back our dogs at any time. It just seems to us that some of the reasons we are given don’t make sense, and as Judge Judy says, “if it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true”. We have to base the next placement of the dog on the facts that were given to us as to why the dog was given up. This limits the next placement and may eliminate potential adopters, which is not fair to the dog.

Donations are also at an all time low. If you are able to help our “kids” out, it would be much appreciated and can be used as a tax deduction.

Throughout a particularly “low” year, we have been grateful to those of you who continue to support us in so many ways. We will continue to do what we can for as many as we can, but please remember that we are human and this has been a very emotionally draining year. If we are slow in getting back to you, please try to understand and be patient.

We’re sorry this update couldn’t be on a happier note, but this is the sad reality of the current rescue situation. It seems at the end of 2008 we were hoping for better times in 2009. Now we’re hoping for a better 2010-we all deserve a break, but especially some of our “kids” who have been here so long…

Anna and Rich

October Update

Things are getting back to “normal” here in Redding. I’m still getting caught up from being gone for a few days so we thank you for your patience. Last week we took in this poor boy, Romeo, who needed quite extensive orthopedic surgery for a fractured leg. He also needed eye surgery and to be neutered. I’m going to let him tell you his own story, but he is too proud to ask for help with his vet bills so I will do so on his behalf. Romeo’s bill was close to $2,000.00 so if any of you can help with a donation in any amount, it would be much appreciated by all of us. He is definitely a dog worth saving, but please read on:

Hello to all of you. My name is Romeo only because it was decided that “Lover Boy” was too awkward. I’m not sure how many faces would turn around if someone were calling me “Lover Boy” at the dog park and who might get slapped! Either way, I can live up to the name. I really do love everyone I meet, and it doesn’t matter if you have two or four legs or if my leg is broken. My story begins with someone in San Diego witnessing me getting hit by a car and taking me to the shelter. I was there for 10 days, and nothing was done for my hurt leg. Finally, the shelter staff called and the rescue was told that they had to get me out of the shelter the next day or I would be killed. Somehow it didn’t seem fair to the folks at the rescue that I should have to die because I had an irresponsible owner. I know they worked hard to get me to Redding the next day (it’s about a ten hour drive), but they got the job done so that Dr. Larry could take care of my broken leg. He would have had an easier time if he could have put me back together as soon as the fracture happened, but that was not the case. He did say the surgery was a “challenge”, but we are all hopeful that I will regain full use of my leg. So now you know my story, but I am putting all that in the past. What I have now in front of me is a blank page on which to start writing the next chapter of my life. I am hoping to include one of you in the “rest of the story”.

September Update

I just wanted to let everyone know that responses to your emails, applications, or phone calls will be delayed. I will be out of town for a little while and will try to catch up as quickly as I can when I get back. Thank you for your patience.

Also, for those of you who participate in the United Way Campaign at your workplace, we are eligible to receive those funds. If you would like to help our “kids” in that way, please use Homeward Bound CSP, Inc. for the name of the organization. United Way will contact me for the info they need.

We all thank you for your continued support in so many ways.


September Updates!

Hello all you Pei lovers. We are sorry for the lack of communication for the last few months. In answer to those of you who asked, yes, we are still in business. Unfortunately, it’s a sign of these tough economic times that there are more Pei than ever who need our help. We are over our legal limit, and we are still two people trying to keep up with all we need to do for those in our care. At this time we cannot take in any new dogs until some are placed. This economy offers us a double edged sword-more and more people are unable to keep their dogs, and less and less people are in a position to adopt.

We do have some beautiful Pei available for those of you who might be considering adopting. If so, please get in touch.

We hope you all had a great summer, and we will try to do better in letting you know what is happening at the rescue. Thank you for your concern for us and our “kids”. Although sometimes having so many dogs here at our home seems overwhelming, we are grateful to be able to provide them the care they need until they find their “forever” homes. It is with your continued support in so many ways that we are able to do that.

Anna and Rich

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California Chinese Shar Pei Rescue - P.O. Box 492404 - Redding, CA 96049-2404 | Contact us